Updated 05/08/2007 - Installed newer mainboard & processor, specs at bottom.

What originally started off as a desire to simply see where we were on 4WD tracks turned into a much
larger project. We now have a full blown permanent computer system which handles GPS Navigation
(offroad & onroad), Music Playback (no more CD's in the car!!!), video playback, Radio & anything
else you can think of to use a PC for.

My partner and I both enjoy four wheel driving & get out most weekends if we can. When we first
started we would just head out & try to find some fun tracks on our own. Then I thought it would be nice
to know where we are & where we are heading so I purchased some CALM maps of the areas we
were going & a handheld GPS. This worked OK but was a pain having to stop, check the GPS, find
the coordinates on the map & then off we go again until the next fork in the road. This led me to make
up a Data Cable for the GPS & I was going to link it into a laptop that could be temporarily fitted into
the car runnin OziExplorer but while doing this I stumbled across a picture of a Lilliput 7" touch screen
on autospeed.com & then shortly after found mp3car.com & all the fun started!

I built up a computer from parts at my work, nothing flash just a Cerlon 1.1Ghz which I have mounted in
a case I made that sits under the drivers seat, bought a Morex 80W DC-DC Power supply, BU-303
USB GPS, USB wireless network card for transferring data to the car pc from home, 40GB 7200RPM
Seagate HDD and a Lilliput 7" Touch Screen.

I removed the factory CD player, got it all in the car & was very happy until I drove out of the carport &
found that the screen was almost unreadable in even modest lighting conditions. From the pictures
you can see that I then angled the screen back into the dash a bit and tinted the windows which made a
huge improvement & had intentions of moulding it into the dash but never got around to it.

We were happy with the screen and used it configured like this for about 6 months, we could read the
screen 90% of the time & it was quite manageable. I always wanted a bit brighter screen (and a little
larger to make reading maps & Street GPS navigation easier) but the true sunlight readable screens
are still way out of my price range (thousands of dollars!!!). I then found a 10.2" widescreen LCD with
450nits brightness with the touchscreen attatched which was better than what I had but the main reason
I wanted it was the bigger size to make reading maps in OziExplorer offroad easier. Quick
measurements were made, it was going to be tight but it would fit so found a supplier & it arrived a
week later.  Once I installed the screen & took it for a drive I was very happy with how much brighter it was.  It is still not fully readable in direct sunlight but good enough that I don't think I will now ever worry about spending large amounts on true sunlight readable displays.

The pics are of the install as it has progressed from standard, to the 7" screen to what it is today with
the 10.2" screen moulded in the dash.

I have made up a custom overhead console to house the keyboard for the PC, UHF radio & a small
PIC based LCD voltage meter I made up to keep an eye on the Main and Aux batteries under the

The PC runs "Road Runner" as the front end, OziExploer for offroad Navigation with CALM maps &
satellite maps downloaded from the net and Destinator for on road GPS navigation. I have made up
my own PIC based PC controller which makes the PC act just as if it were a factory stereo system,
turns it off & on with the ignition key & it will power up & resume playing music within 16 seconds.

The GPS sensor sits on the dash mat at the bottom of the A-Pillar on the drivers side & seems to always have a lock on road but as soon as we go offroad into forrest conditions I pick it up & put it out the drivers door & it sticks to the roof.  It hasn't lost lock yet this way even in very dense tree coverage.

The pc has been running fine now for almost a year & it gets a real workout. It gets kilometers of rough
corrogations & heaps of offroad work & hasn't missed a beat!

Being a PC it is almost limitless what it can do & be used for so this is an ongoing project but now that
we have it I could not imagine any car we own without this setup.


New Specs: (installed 05/08/2007)
AMD Semperon 3200+
512MB DDR2/800MHz RAM
Onboard Video & Sound
Alpine 4 Channel amp running standard speakers
Netgear USB Wireless Network
PSK-3000 Keyboard

GME TX3200 UHF Radio
D-Link USB Radio

Old Specs:
Celeron 1.1Ghz
Onboard Video & Sound
Alpine 4 Channel amp running standard speakers
Netgear USB Wireless Network
Morex 80W PSU
PSK-3000 Keyboard

GME TX3200 UHF Radio
D-Link USB Radio